26 August 2011

Petite Pasties - Mini Meat Pies for Afternoon Tea

Petite pasties (pronounced pass-tees, not paste-ees like the va-va-voom kind) are a lot more fiddly than full-size pasties, so I don't make them as often--in fact, only for very special afternoon teas. And I recently had just such an occasion. Five of us British film and television buffs got together for a full day of it--the entire fourth season of Lark Rise to Candleford, episodes interspersed with lots of tea, food and champagne throughout the day.

As much as I loved Lark Rise to Candleford, afternoon tea was the highlight of my day. I had assembled a half-batch of petite pasties the day before and placed them on a half-sheet pan, covered them with foil and put them in the freezer. Two hours before serving, I took the pasties out to thaw. Half an hour before teatime, I popped them in the oven. They could probably be baked frozen; I've just never done it.

These little pasties are not what some of my ancestors carried into the mines of northern England. One (or ten!) of these will not make a meal for a hard-working miner! I make about three per person for afternoon tea (such a Delightful Repast), in addition to several tea sandwiches per person, not to mentions scones and various treats. We ladies work up a good appetite viewing/talking from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.! Comfort food, comfort film, comfort day.

Update 12/07/16: For how to throw an afternoon tea party and a roundup of afternoon tea recipes, see Afternoon Tea Party Tips.

Petite Pasties

(Makes 36 petite pasties)

Meat Filling

1.25 pounds skirt steak, cut into slivers, all fat chunks and membrane removed (leaving 1 pound or so)
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup water

Pastry for Petite Pasties (food processor* method) Make recipe twice.

2 1/2 packed cups (12.5 ounces/354 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks (8 ounces/227 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons lemon juice or cider vinegar
Ice water to make 2/3 cup liquid

1 In bottom of double-boiler, bring an inch or so of water (6 cups in mine) to a boil. Hand mince the beef, discarding any gristly or fibrous bits and large hunks of fat. Coat with flour, salt, pepper and marjoram. Place in top of double-boiler. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and water. Put lid on pan and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours, no stirring or checking necessary. No browning, no nothing. Just put the lid on it and forget about it for 2 hours. Really, I mean it, just go away and leave it alone!

2 Allow meat to cool completely before assembling pasties. While cooling, make pastry. Rather than make a huge batch of pastry, I prefer to make it in two batches, making this pastry recipe twice.

3 With metal blade in place, add flour, salt and baking powder to work bowl of food processor. Turn on for three seconds to combine. Add half the frozen butter and process for 10 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add remaining butter and pulse for six 1-second pulses, or until the frozen butter is the size of small peas.

4 In 2/3-cup measure, combine lemon juice or vinegar with ice water. Pour over all of flour mixture; pulse for six 1-second pulses or just until dough forms large clumps; do not over-process. (The amount of water you will need depends on your climate and the moisture content of your flour. You may not need to use quite as much water as I do.)

5 Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap (clingfilm) and flatten slightly into a 6-inch square; double wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to three days. (Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.)

6 Repeat for second batch.

* I have the DLC-10E, which (understandably after all this time--I've had it since I was very young) is no longer available. See Cuisinart DLC-2009CHB Prep 9 9-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless and other currently available models.

7 Working with one batch of dough at a time, on lightly floured 12x24-inch piece of parchment, roll out pastry to 11x22-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Place dough on baking sheets and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. With the Wilton Comfort Grip Round Cookie Cutter (3 3/8 inches) or other approximately 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut each rectangle of pastry into 18 rounds.

8 Divide the meat filling in half and work with one batch of pastry at a time. Divide the filling among the 18 rounds, using about 2 teaspoons for each; don't overfill. Fold pastry rounds to form half moons and crimp edges. Brush with beaten egg (if desired) and place on large baking sheet (I use a half-sheet pan). Chill until ready to bake.

9 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Right before the pasties go into the oven, use a fork to make three lines of little holes in the top of each. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve hot. Pass gravy and Daddy’s or HP Sauce, if desired; but I love them just as they are.


Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Alas, tea time (pronounced T time) for me is still tee time (pronounced T time). ‘Fraid I'll never relate to dead leaves being scalded in a cup. But the UK TV works, as do the pasties, though I prefer to pronounce that paste-ties. My choice of pronunciation is because the latter is not necessarily the va-va-voom kind to me, edible or not. I use the word “paste-ties” to refer to repaired cookies. See, I invented this stuff I call “cookie glue,”after I got tired of buying gas station cookies that were always broken. You can predict the recipe, I guess – a little butter, a little flour, a little egg, etc. Just glurp it along the broken seam. Course, it does tend to make the repaired cookie a little crisp, if you try to re-bake it. Well, actually, it turns it into the Cookie from Hell, but that's why you just let the cookie glue do its thing like raw dough. Yes, you CAN try this at home, though I don't recommend dipping it in milk – depends whether the repaired cookie fracture was simple or compound. Thinking of marketing Sully's Cookie Glue in a tube. Do I have a winner here?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

You might have a winner there! Of course, those of us who do not purchase our cookies, especially from gas stations, will not be your target market. :D PS You're a dipper, eh? I've never dipped a cookie in milk in my entire life. What if I've been missing out all these years!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Ah, dipping is an art, but to the initiated, milk sucked into a cookie by osmosis is cloying. Here's the Rx for dipping: First 2 cookies (usually 1 choc. chip + 1 peanut butter)dip in milk for 1.5 seconds, scarf down. Next 3 cookies (can be butterscotch, oatmeal, choc. chip again last to reestablish the choco dominance)bare naked -- no milk. The a dalliance with milk with either a toffee or a peanut butter cookie. Finish off with 11 more large size peanut butter cookies straight and dry. Wait 6 mins until you begin coughing crumbs, then drink 1 glass of Trader Joe's cola with shot of vanilla in 2 quaffs.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, please please please, make yourself some meat pies. Or *some*thing with some protein. You're consuming altogether too much sugar! I don't know, though, you have more energy than I do. Maybe you're onto something.

T and Tea Cake said...

Ha! At first look I thought I am starring at scones but NO who would have thought those good-looking crescent delights are packed with surely not so good looking yet delicious meat!

This reall sounds a bit time consuming but it sounds like it's worth it! :)


Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tobias! And never fear, they SOUND like more work than they actually are. Hope you'll give them a try.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Oh YUMMY! How can I possibly make time to make these, ughhhhh. Please make for me and ship overnight, please, please, please.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Mrs. T! But truth be told, if I had to make a batch of these this evening I'd do something drastic! That said, they really aren't as much trouble as they look.

Unknown said...

LOL.. va-va-voom is exactly what I thought of!! Never the less.. these pass-tees look and sound fantastic! Wish I had a few right now :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, a few. One would not want to have a *pair* of pasties. :D

Madison said...

These look delicious! I never knew about these savories. I thought the sandwiches were the only savory components to afternoon tea. I went to a proper English afternoon tea recently and they served a meat pie of sort in little pastry cups. They were great! Yours look better though. Your friends are so lucky to be treated to this.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Madison, thank you so much! Isn't afternoon tea the most Delightful Repast of all?!

mike said...

Ha! Someone mentioned that they look like scones and I thought the texture looked like scones as well. They sound delicious but I'd really love to see what they look like on the inside too :)

mjskit said...

I love meat pies but I've never made them. These look like a great place to start! I like the idea of having them with afternoon tea.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mike, you're right - I should have taken a photograph with the inside showing! What was I thinking?! But they don't really look like much on the inside - since they are so small and hold such a small amount of filling, the beef has to be cut into tiny pieces - the filling isn't particularly "photogenic" but it has a lovely flavor.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, MJ! They're an especially wonderful addition to the tea table in cold weather. Very dainty things, but giving the "feel" of something hearty!

Cranberry Morning said...

Love that arrangement of pasties on the plate! And the pronunciation guide. Don't want to conjure up unsavory images. :-) I have never ever made meat pies, though I've always thought, 'someday I'll do that.' They do look so good!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you! I know what you mean - I have a *very* long list of "someday I'll do that"! Regular size pasties are a UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) as well as an English thing.

Grant said...

Hey Jean, your mini meat pies look delicious and remind me of Estonian meat buns (pirukas) which are an all time favorite and family tradition (see, there's that holding on to life enhancing traditions thing :)

We use our thermomix machine to both make the pastry and the filling, and it's an awesome time saving device. Wouldn't be without one now!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I had never heard of pirukas, so I looked it up. What I read said the filling typically has cabbage in addition to meat and other things. Sounds wonderful! I love cabbage. Even if I didn't, though, I'm sure I'd love it wrapped in pastry! Let's face it, I'd eat a piece of cardboard if you wrapped it in pastry!

Chezbonnefemme said...

Lark Rise to Candleford is the BEST! I absolutely love the minor characters (the Misses Prats and, especially, Minnie and and Thomas Brown) more than I like the major characters (is anyone getting a bit tired of Dorcas?--the acting is superb, but the character gets tiresome!). Anyway, what a great idea to host a tea to watch some episodes. I think I'll have sherry or port with mine, though!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I know! Tea - it's my one weakness! Minnie is so precious. I just love her. My favorite character was missing from the last season - Robert Timmins. (Brendan Coyle was also excellent in North & South - the UK one). I don't like port, as a rule, so didn't have any on hand. And I had no takers on the sherry. My little group is in a Champagne rut!

Abigail Rogers said...

My, what a lovely day! I need to get more Britophile friends....

These do look fiddly, but oh so fun :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Abby, all you have to do is invite them over for afternoon tea; they'll be hooked! My Britophile friends didn't necessarily start out that way.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Abby, all you have to do is invite them over for afternoon tea; they'll be hooked! My Britophile friends didn't necessarily start out that way.